This past Saturday, groundbreaking Mexican-American actress Lupita Tovar passed away at the age of 106. Tovar was best known for her roles in Spanish-language adaptations of American films which accommodated a Latinx market in the early years of talkies.
She starred in the Spanish-language version of Dracula, which not only is viewed as a better film than the American original, but was just included in the National Film Registry’s list of films deemed “culturally, historically and aesthetically” significant. She went on to star in Mexico’s first breakthrough sound movie, Santa, in 1932, and appeared in a number of Hollywood movies. She married producer Paul Kohner, and was mother to producer Pancho Kohner, and Oscar nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress Susan Kohner. Tovar’s grandchildren are Paul and Chris Weitz, best known for co-directing American Pie and About a Boy.
While her legacy certainly lives through the work of her grandsons, who broke the news on Saturday, we certainly can’t ignore the pioneering work of the Latinx actress herself.